Don’t hate me because I’m… from Pittsburgh

I received my first bit of hate from a visitor last month. The comment was nasty for no reason except to be mean.* But one part of it made a reference to me being from Pittsburgh and I got to thinking about something @BrianBWatkins shared with me once that I did not know having lived in Pennsylvania my whole life:

I am from Dallas, therefore since birth it has been engraved in my consciousness that Pittsburgh (along with Philly, Washington, and New York) are all horrible horrible places. This is 100% a football related sentiment. Mention the terms “Steel Curtain” or “Terry Bradshaw” to anyone over the age of 40 and expect them to blow a f%^&ing gasket. Blame my upbringing. I’m sure “yinz” guys and the city itself is sweet.

Is it true that those of you from other big football cities hate Pittsburgh?

Well, you shouldn’t. Hate the Steelers, hate that the fans in Pittsburgh are a bit obsessive [sorry, Folks, but you are], but PLEASE don’t hate this city. I’m putting my offer out there again: if you have plans to visit here, contact me. I’ll buy you a coffee and show you around my city and knock your socks off by the awesomeness of it all. If you are a runner, better yet, let me show you the city that way. Warning: it will involve an almost mile run up a mountain [McArdle Roadway] with a payoff like no other. NO OTHER. Trust me.

So, the reasons this city is so great are numerous (to name a few ’cause, ya know, I’m me: the landscape, its low cost of living, because we put French fries on EVERYTHING, world-class medical facilities, diverse neighborhoods, abundant recreational amenities…do I need to go on?). While these are all awesome, the real reason is because there are people like John that live here. John ran the Freaky 5K dressed in a 1970’s denim leisure suit:

If you don’t love his wig and headband, then you have serious problems.

And while being from Pittsburgh AND running in denim are reasons enough for me to love you, John gets even more of my love. The reason? The stuffed goat that he is holding.

He ran with the stuffed goat to raise awareness for Haiti H2O Goat Project. He is running the Pittsburgh Marathon in May and is hoping to raise money to purchase 26 goats as part of a livestock exchange program to aid the people in Haiti. What is incredible about this program is that not only do the animals provide immediate nourishment to those in need, the recipients pass on the goat’s offspring to others in the community, thereby supplying food and income far beyond the initial gift. You can read more about it here.

How about doing socially responsible gifting this year instead of just exchanging gift cards? How about making purchases that actually might make a difference in this world? And who doesn’t like gifts that keep on giving?

Please go to John’s fundraising page and consider buying a goat as a gift to help a fellow Pittsburgher do some good. Come on, undo that Pittsburgh Football Hate** you’ve been storing up inside you all these years. 😉

* Thanks to those that saw it before I deleted it and came to my defense or wrote me an email [hugs]. But in all honesty, I thought it was AWESOME. There should be some “badge” you can put in your sidebar after your first particularly vicious comment.

** I totally want credit for coining this phrase.

Leave a comment


  1. Mary

     /  November 23, 2012

    People hold on to stereotypes from back in the day when Pittsburgh, Allentown and other PA Steele and mining towns went under… They were poor and dirty places to live. But unlike other cities (not to be mentioned as not to offend other readers) these cities are back on track and/or on the rise again and have been for the past decade or two. People need to get that old way of thinking out of their minds. I did not see what this person said to you but I can imagine it was narrow minded. And that whole football thing, being from Philly, I’m supposed to hate Dallas, Pitt, Boston and most of NY. If I thought this way, I would have few great places to travel to!
    Great post BTW… People should remember to give back this time of year. Pay it forward as they say 🙂

  2. you look like richard simons, lol. that is a great thing getting goats to people that does more to help then just giving money which then is stolen or misused by those taking advantage of those poor people. is there anywy to be sure the money actually buys goats for those people way to check if they are legit? I am just curious, so many charities and no way to verify if hte money is actually going to the cause or just being pocketed by some ceo.

  3. ripvanracer

     /  November 23, 2012

    Wow, That is pretty magnificent Jill. I just virtually ran up McArdle Roadway. (google) A Monongahela Incline car was right over me when I went by.

  4. oh my gosh, wat a total jerk (censored) for typing that comment. some of the things people say just blows me away; i really don’t get people who are THAT obsessed with teams to feel compelled to hate on someone just because of the place the live. at a certain point u do, just have to laugh at it! wat a cray-cray. hmm, maybe he’ll leave me a hate reply here? 😉

  5. Other Jill

     /  November 24, 2012

    This is the other Jill from Pittsburgh, I’m actually writing this from my parent’s couch in the South Hills. Though NYC is my home now, I am totally with you on the Pgh love. It’s not 1970 anymore, people. Pgh is great! Running here is a bit tough, though- the hills!

  6. I must say, I have experienced some of the Pittsburgh Football Hate you so eloquently describe since being transplanted to Central PA. It’s crazy how if I mention that I’m from Pittsburgh, people automatically take it as an invitation to roll their eyes or start griping about football. Calm down, kids: Pittsburgh is amaaaaazing. It sneaks into your soul and becomes a permanent part of you.

    I like to think of myself as a little Pittsburgh ambassador, too. So I extra special love you for being from (and defending the honor of) my beloved Pittsburgh!

    • “It sneaks into your soul and becomes a permanent part of you.” Pittsburgh couldn’t be described any better!

  7. Sadly my visits to Pittsburgh have always been just passing through (whether flying in to visit the man’s family in Ohio or catching the SEPTA to find my way back to NYC). However, I will most certainly beg you to meet me for a run one day! Just as long as it’s not a Steelers home game day. The most obnoxious football fan I’ve ever met (and also a good friend) has ruined the team for me. 🙂

    • No need to beg – it would be super fun!
      I think you should coordinate your next visit to Ohio around the Pittsburgh Marathon. 😉


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